We have all been missing the regular Workout2Music dance classes at Oakley Village Hall so we are delighted that Salli is now able to offer some classes via Zoom – enquiries to

Dancing through the Decades                     Tuesdays at 1030am
Beginner Mat Pilates                                      Mondays at 6pm

Classes maybe booked through Bookwhen. Https.//

New grant scheme to support borough’s small businesses

A new grant scheme for small and micro businesses, who may need assistance with finances during the COVID-19 outbreak, has been launched by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Following the government’s announcement of a further discretionary grant scheme on 1 May, the council will be administering this support to small and micro businesses who have not been eligible for any other support measures to date.

Grants of £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000 will be available for small and micro businesses in the borough linked to their level of fixed property overheads costs as part of the Small Business Discretionary Grants Scheme.

They must also be able to demonstrate a significant loss of income as a result of the impact of COVID-19. To be eligible, the business must have fewer than 50 employees, occupy a property with a rateable value of up to £51,000 or part of a property with a rateable value of up to £51,000. The business must also not be eligible for any other government schemes including (but not limited to):

• Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
• Small Business Grant Fund
• Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
• The Fisheries Response Fund
• Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
• The Zoos Support Fund
• The Dairy Hardship Fund

The application window will launch on Monday (25 May) and businesses will need to complete an application form by 4.30pm on Friday 5 June. For more information on the eligibility criteria and to apply, please visit

Cabinet Member for Finance and Service Improvement Cllr Hannah Golding said: “Helping small businesses is an important part of our work to support the local economy in Basingstoke and Deane following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We know this is an unsettling time for businesses of all sizes and I am pleased we have been able to support a significant number of local businesses by administering the support set up by the government.

“This new grant scheme will allow us to provide much needed support for smaller businesses in the borough, who have not been eligible for other government schemes, to help protect people’s jobs for the future.”

For more information about the council’s response to COVID-19 and support available for businesses, please visit

Some waste and recycling services to resume

We are resuming some waste and recycling services from next week as staffing levels begin to stabilise following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bulky waste and garden waste collections will be reintroduced in phases with bookings for bulky waste collections starting from Tuesday 26 May and garden waste collections resuming from mid-June. The staggered approach will see those services requiring the fewest staff brought back online first to ensure the existing waste, recycling and clinical waste services can be maintained for the duration of the pandemic.
Waste collections, which were reduced to a fortnightly collection on Monday 20 April and have the biggest impact on staffing, will remain on the current collection schedule until both the council and Serco are confident the weekly service can be sustained by the crews during the pandemic
Find out more
Bins collections as normal on bank holiday
Despite it being a bank holiday weekend, our bin collection crews will be out working as normal. Please leave your bin at your usual collection place. Don’t forget to wipe the handles of your bin before and after handling it to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re not sure which bin we’ll be collecting this week, use the button below to find out.

Bin collections

Oakley Stitchers

If you have a little spare time, can sew, crochet, knit or craft, why not consider becoming part of the team of Oakley Stitchers?

Formed at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, we have been busy making and providing scrubs, caps, masks, scrunchies, headband ear protectors and scrubs bags for our valued key workers. There are things that can be made by any level of sewer, from novice or rusty to competent & confident.

We have been fulfilling requests from right on the doorstep like our own Watership Down doctors & nurses, St Michael’s Hospice, Beech Tree Nursing Home in Overton, Basingstoke Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital, Brixton Prison … and further afield. To date, we have posted over 80 parcels to our front line workers, made over 300 sets of scrubs , sent out over 400 scrub bags, and supplied many users of surgical masks with ear protectors to prevent soreness …… and demand certainly doesn’t look to be slowing down. 🙂

To show our ongoing appreciation to the commitment and protection these amazing people demonstrate daily for us all, we pop in a little handwritten “thank you note” with each set of scrubs. These are created by our local children. We also include a little multipack of biscuits/treats in each parcel sent out (unexpected naughties always seem to make people smile).

In return we have received some really heartwarming, emotional messages and fab photos, and each and every recipient is always so grateful and overwhelmed that we are willing to help them by providing additional/comfortable workwear at this difficult time.

For any non-sewers, we are also making some ‘dementia comforters’ designed for patients who are frightened & confused by the different routines and environments they are experiencing during Covid. We are providing them with something tactile to hold rather than just a bed buzzer. These can be painted, crocheted or knitted… and include little cloth hearts, painted peg dolls, knitted angels, twiddle muffs, tactile octopi, polished wood smiley faces, heart cross-stitches, etc … we are trialling a number of items at the moment. Crocheters can also make ear protectors if they use cotton skeins rather than wool.

Moving forward … We’ve had a request for some smaller masks to be made for the Children’s Ward at Basingstoke, including ‘mini-masks’ so that the kiddies can have one for their doll or teddy.

We have also recently trialled a prototype of a clear mask for medical approval after a request from a consultant whose deaf or hard-of-hearing patients were struggling to lip read. So we are diversifying all the time and trying to respond to as many requests as we can.

We have created a JustGiving page ( which helps us to provide this service for free to our front liners, as we constantly need more elastic, buttons, cord, as well as help towards postage costs.

Everything you need to join in is outside 53 Hunters Close, RG23 5BG (just by Pack Lane crossroads). We have people who can collect/deliver stuff for anyone who is shielding so don’t let that put you off. 

We are always in need of material, old bedding or large fabric offcuts, anything that is cotton or polycotton and  can be washed at 60 degrees. Funky colours and patterns are great too, the key workers are really enjoying the quirky and flamboyant scrubs and find they are boosting patient morale, so material doesn’t always have to be ‘sensible’ hospital colours. Any donations that you have of material, cotton, elastic, pins, needles, buttons etc are also welcomed in our ‘pop up stock’ at 53 Hunters Close.

We are always mindful that we need to maintain a safe environment for all people that are involved, so do ask that social distancing guidelines are respected when visiting Hunters Close. There is antiviral spray and hand gel to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible. We ask that you do not attend if you are showing symptoms or have been tested as positive in the last 14 days, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be involved, so do get in touch.

If you would like to know more or join our amazing team, please either find our FB Group “Oakley Stitchers”, email us at or ring Caroline on 07876 746995 or Jill on 07769 262336.

An enormous thank you to all our supporters, sewers, donators, cutters and creators for all their ongoing and fantastic support, we couldn’t do it without all of you 😊.

Caroline, Jill and the Oakley Stitchers Team xx

Latest coronavirus council news on Tuesday 19 May

Mayor to continue for another year
Cllr Diane Taylor is staying on as Basingstoke and Deane’s Mayor for another year, leading the civic life of the borough as everyone pulls together to respond to the challenge of coronavirus.
Councils were granted a number of emergency powers through the Coronavirus Regulations 2020, including being able to delay the Council Annual General Meeting at which the Mayor is officially appointed. Due to the exceptional circumstances, the decision was taken to postpone this meeting until May 2021. This means Cllr Taylor will remain in office as Mayor for another year. As first citizen of the borough, she will continue to represent the people of the borough, chair Council meetings virtually and raise money and awareness for her chosen charities.
Read more
Central car park improvements restart
Improvement works at central car park have resumed, with the car park due to reopen on Friday 22 May.
The works, which started in early March, were halted due to the coronavirus outbreak have been restarted with strict social distancing guidelines in place. Improvements include the creation of parent and child spaces, the relocation of disabled bays and widening of pedestrian walkways. New solar powered card-only machines have been installed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can also pay through the RingGo app which enables you to pay for your parking without any need to queue or to leave your car.
More about RingGo 
Play area improvements in Brookvale to start
From Monday 25 May, work is due to start at three play areas, based in Cordale Road, Culver Road and Goodman Close, at a total cost of over £236,000 from the council’s Local Infrastructure Fund. New play equipment for children of all ages and improved landscaping is planned, at Goodman Close and Culver Road first, with Cordale Road to follow, over a period of up to 10 weeks.

All play areas currently remain closed. However the improved play areas will be opened by the council as soon as possible following changes in government guidance.

Brookvale recreation works

Some council-owned outdoor sports facilities to reopen

Following the latest government guidance, we’re reopening some of our outdoor sports facilities, where it is safe to do so.
The following will be open from Thursday 14 May:The outdoor tennis courts at Stratton Park and Totally Tennis (indoor facilities will remain closed)The athletics track at Down GrangeCouncil multi-use games areas and SOME ball parks in the borough.
The outdoor nine hole par-three golf course at Basingstoke Golf Centre will reopen on Saturday 16 May. The adventure golf and driving range, club house, changing facilities and toilets will remain closed.
Read more

Keep a safe space – social distancing
We want you to keep safe while using our parks and outdoor sports facilities. Following the recent changes to government guidance now you are able to:

Sit and enjoy the fresh air, picnic, or sunbathe
Meet ONE other person from a different household outdoors
Exercise outdoors as often as you wish
Use outdoor sports courts or facilities, with members of your household, or ONE other person.

You should ensure that you are at least two metres away from anyone outside your household at all times. Our community safety patrol officers will continue to support the community to ensure that our residents keep themselves and others safe in public areas of the borough. You’ll find more information on COVID-19 on our website.
Meet our team – community safety patrol officers
Our community safety patrol officers are continuing to help people keep themselves and others safe by offering advice on social distancing in public areas of the borough.

But how else have they been helping during the COVID-19 outbreak? Watch our short video to find out.
Watch here

Community volunteers working hard to support vulnerable residents

The Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub has taken over 1,200 calls from vulnerable borough residents following the launch of a new coronavirus helpline.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) and community and voluntary groups to ensure that those most at risk can stay inside their homes and receive deliveries of food and prescribed medication during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline has been set up for residents who are at higher risk from the virus, are self-isolating and do not have access to any help from family and friends to register for support. The helpline is available seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm by calling 0333 370 4000.

Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub, through a wide range of community and voluntary groups and volunteers across the borough, has been able to purchase and deliver food packages, collect medical prescriptions from local pharmacies and signpost residents in need to other support available. 

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Partnerships Cllr Simon Bound said: “These figures show how important this vital work is to provide urgent support to vulnerable residents across our borough and I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers working hard to support residents most in need.

“We have received some great feedback from people who have been helped by volunteers and we are pleased to have been able to provide financial assistance to keep this support running during this pandemic.

“If you need support, or know anyone who is vulnerable and has no other access to help, please call the Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline to register for this service so we can ensure you get the supplies you need.”

For more information about the Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub visit and for more information about the support available in your area, please visit

County council to re-open HWRCs

On Monday 11 May, Hampshire County Council will re-open its Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), including the facility at Wade Road in Basingstoke.The HWRCs were temporarily closed at the end of March following government guidelines on non-essential journeys to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. For more information on the re-opening of the county council’s HWRCs, including the measures that will be in place, click on the button below.
Find out more

VE Day 75th Anniversary

Join the Mayor to celebrate VE Day 75 heroes
The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane will lead the VE Day 75 Anniversary commemorations on Friday 8 May to thank those who gave so much during World War Two. Encouraging everyone to mark the day safely at home in line with social distancing guidance, Cllr Taylor is inviting you to raise a glass or a cup of tea at 3pm to join the nation in celebrating, as people did 75 years ago. She will take part in an international Cry for Peace at 6.55pm, which will be streamed on social media, before the 7pm Ringing Out for Peace, a worldwide celebration of the peace and friendships we share today. A recording of the bells at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke, will be posted online to participate. At 9pm, you are invited to a UK-wide singalong of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ with Dame Vera Lynn to be broadcast on BBC One as part of the commemorations. For more information about the full virtual VE Day 75, programme, click on the link:

No changes to bin collections over bank holiday weekend

There will be no changes to waste and recycling collections in Basingstoke and Deane on Friday 8 May, despite it being a bank holiday.
As normal, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s contractor Serco will carry out bin collections on the bank holiday.
In line with the temporary fortnightly waste collection schedule introduced on Monday 20 April, residents should place the appropriate bin – either grey or green – out by 7am on Friday 8 May. Those residents who are unsure which bin is due for collection can find out on the council’s website  
More information about waste and recycling collections and service updates during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the council’s website at